French Ambassador Meeting

On 26 April, FTA’s Head of European Policy, Pauline Bastidon, took part in a breakfast roundtable meeting with the French Ambassador to the EU, Philippe Léglise-Costa. Alongside other topics of interest, the Ambassador insisted that a transition period was not an absolute certainty at present and would depend on whether a withdrawal agreement could be finalised and ratified in time.

In response to a question from FTA, he remarked that it would be important to move to practical considerations as soon as possible, such as how to manage the border after Brexit, and mentioned that similar arrangements to those currently in place for migration could be found in other areas. He said that practical discussions could only start once the UK Government recognised that the decision to leave the customs union and single market would result in unavoidable frictions and delays at the borders.

He also explained that work is ongoing on the EU-27 side to prepare for all possible eventualities, including a no-deal outcome in March 2019; warning however that any contingency measures identified would only get implemented quite late in the process. He concluded by pointing out that the UK’s market access will depend on the degree of regulatory convergence with the EU, confirming what FTA has heard already from EU negotiators and from the European Commission. For more information, please contact Pauline Bastidon.